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Figuring Racism in Medieval Christianity$
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Lindsay Kaplan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190678241

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190678241.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Introduction

Introduction

Theology, Inferiority, Racism

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Figuring Racism in Medieval Christianity
Author(s):

Lindsay Kaplan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190678241.003.0001

This intellectual history focuses on racism: discriminatory concepts and practices that produce, accompany, or follow the (fictive) idea of race. The author identifies inferiority as a primary category of analysis, arguing that the creation of a hierarchy in which one group represents itself as superior to another constitutes a necessary element of racism. Attending to the tropes of subordinating differentiation helps trace racism’s history in drawing a line from medieval forms to contemporary white supremacism. The figural concept of cursed Jewish slavery developed in medieval Christian theology serves to construct racial inferiority. The introduction stresses the importance of theology in the history of race: the many studies of medieval discourses that articulate racial identities for Jews and Muslims do not focus on the theological texts from which these constructions emerge. Medieval Christian theology creates a status of hereditary inferiority, a concept that continues to shape modern racism.

Keywords:   racism, inferiority, slavery, medieval, Christian theology, typology, Jews

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